Saturday, March 12, 2022

Attacks vs. Anakpawis coordinators, volunteers in Southern Tagalog intensify

Posted to the pro-CPP/NPA/NDF online propaganda publication Bulatlat (Mar 12, 2022): Attacks vs. Anakpawis coordinators, volunteers in Southern Tagalog intensify (By Justin Umali)

A member of Gabriela joins a protest action condemning the crackdown of activists in Southern Tagalog. (Photo by Carlo Manalansan)By JUSTIN UMALI

Incidents of harassment and attacks against local and provincial chapters of progressive party-list Anakpawis in the Southern Tagalog region have ramped up over the past week, according to reports on the ground.

Four incidents were reported by various rights groups and people’s organizations in the Southern Tagalog region from March 6 to March 11.

On March 6, Karapatan Southern Tagalog received reports that Felizardo Repaso and his wife have been the victims of continued harassment from elements of the military. According to the group, soldiers have been spotted in the area near their home in Atimonan, Quezon province for at least three days.

Repaso is a member of Coco Levy Fund Ibalik Sa Amin (CLAIM Quezon) and a volunteer for Anakpawis Quezon.

Three days later, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Laguna reported that two plainclothes officers were looking for Red Clado, Anakpawis Laguna coordinator and a staff member for Alyansa ng Manggagawa sa Probinsya ng Laguna (ALMAPILA-KMU). The two officers met with Clado’s mother and told her that her son was a “high ranking member of the CPP-NPA-NDF” (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) and was “slated to join the NPA.” The two officers then offered to ‘talk’ with

Clado and promised not to arrest him.

The next day, elements of the Cavite police in barangay Mayugam, Silang, resulted in the arrest of Jonathan Mercado, spokesperson of Teatro Kabataan Mula sa Nayon (TEKA MUNA) and a member of Anakpawis Southern Tagalog’s regional campaign staff. Mercado was arrested without a warrant at approximately 8:30 a.m., and his whereabouts are yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDA) in Cavite launched drug-related operations in sitio Bagong Silangan, barangay Talaba 7 in Bacoor, resulting in the arrest of ten Anakpawis volunteers. At least nine volunteers, meanwhile, were physically assaulted and harassed, including Joel Salabania, vice chairperson of Anakpawis Cavite. According to reports from Bagong Silangan, PDEA agents are still conducting operations in the area as of March 11.

Follow up to Bloody Sunday

Human rights alliance Defend Southern Tagalog has described the series of attacks as a “follow up to Bloody Sunday,” referring to the massacre which took place last March 7, 2021 and resulted in the deaths of nine activists and arrests of six more.

“These are not isolated incidents,” said Charm Maranan, Defend ST spokesperson. “These are coordinated attacks by the Philippine National Police, by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict to disenfranchise the people from their legitimate demands.”

Since March 2021, rights groups have noted an “alarming trend” of attacks in Southern Tagalog, with a special focus on unionists and peasants. Incidents include the murder of Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK KMU) Vice President Dandy Miguel, the arson of an elf truck owned by labor federation OLALIA KMU, forced presentations of members of CLAIM Quezon as “NPA surrenderees,” and forced disaffiliations of labor unions in Laguna from KMU.

Maranan added that Defend ST received information of a second wave of attacks across the region, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año as the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Region 4-A.

As CORDS, Año will be involved in all NTF-ELCAC activities in the region and will act as the Office of the President’s ‘alter-ego’ in the agency’s whole-of-nation approach.

Anakpawis Southern Tagalog is currently coordinating with rights groups to secure its coordinators. Additionally, vice presidential candidate Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan pledged his support for the volunteers in Talaba 7 and for Jonathan Mercado.

MNLF chairman named BARMM labor minister

From the Philippine Star (Mar 13, 2022): MNLF chairman named BARMM labor minister (John Unson)

The head of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is the new labor minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The appointment of MNLF central committee chairman Muslimin Sema, which was signed by BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, was effective on March 8.

Sema told reporters yesterday that he accepted the post, which he described as a “springboard” in furthering peace and sustainable development in the BARMM.

“It’s another way forward. A big challenge,” Sema, who served as mayor of this city for three terms, said.

Sema replaced his nephew Romeo, who was appointed BARMM labor minister in June 2019 .

Romeo, who is vice chairman for political affairs of the MNLF, shall remain as a member of the Bangsamoro interim parliament.

North Cotabato Vice Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza welcomed the appointment of the top MNLF official to help manage the regional government.

“The MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), whose chairman is chief minister of BARMM, is true to its commitment that there shall be inclusivity in its peace and socio-economic initiatives for the autonomous region,” Mendoza said.

MILF: Close to 2K MILF combatants decommissioned in Q1 2022

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Mar 11, 2022): Close to 2K MILF combatants decommissioned in Q1 2022

NORMALIZATION PROCESS. Rowaida Taha, a former member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Women's Auxiliary Brigade (BIWAB) in Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao, receives PHP100,000 worth of transitional cash assistance. Taha said she will use the money for her grandchildren's education and starting a business. (Photo courtesy of OPAPRU)

MANILA (March 7, 2022)— Some 1,950 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have successfully participated in the third phase of decommissioning process for the first quarter this year under the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

In a social media post on Monday, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) said the decommissioned combatants from February 15 to March 1 have each received PHP100,000 worth of transitional cash assistance, through the Task Force for Decommissioned Combatants and their Communities (TFDCC).

Part of the socioeconomic package is the PHP80,000 worth of Bangsamoro Transitory Family Support (BTFS) Package they can use for their basic needs such as food, hygiene kits, sleeping materials, kitchen and shelter kits, as well as medical, educational, and transportation allowances.

They also get PHP20,000 worth of Livelihood Settlement Grant (LSG) for seed capital to start up a micro-enterprise or to purchase starter kits for their future businesses.

The data from the OPAPRU showed 5,250 MILF combatants already underwent the third phase of the decommissioning process from November to December last year.

Some 19,345 former combatants have already been through the three phases of decommissioning process since 2015 as to date.
Another 14,000 MILF members are scheduled to be decommissioned under the third phase process this year.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, all MILF combatants scheduled for decommissioning were subjected to pre-health screening and antigen Covid-19 testing, before proceeding to the assembly and processing area site for decommissioning, followed by a needs assessment of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the TFDCC.

After the on-site validation process, former combatants will be referred to the concerned government agencies for appropriate interventions and services.

The decommissioning process is one of the key provisions of the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the peace agreement forged between the government and MILF in 2014 that aims to empower former MILF combatants in their transitioning as "peaceful and productive civilians," including the provision of health, technical and livelihood services. (PNA)

CPP/Pasabilis News Feature: The curious case of the Paquibato 10

Article from propaganda publication posted to PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Mar 12, 2022): Pasabilis News Feature | The curious case of the Paquibato 10 (By Delilah Mirabal)


PAQUIBATO, DAVAO CITY—In January 2021, the 1003rd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the local Philippine National Police and Davao City’s insidious Peace 911 carried out a psywar operation in Brgy. Malabog here that systematically preyed on peasant civilians in a combination of coercion, legal blackmail and PR blitz, all in the name of counterinsurgency.

In less than a fortnight, the unholy trinity of the AFP, PNP and Peace 911 managed to outlaw with false charges, force the “surrender,” and later acquit ten civilians, and called the entire preposterous spectacle as proof that “cooperation works and works well for the betterment of the community.”

Apparently, this fascist legalese maneuver is now being employed wholesale in many areas in the region under focused-military operations, more recently in Brgy. White Culaman in Arakan, North Cotabato. Village officials reported that earlier this year, at least nine civilians have standing warrants of arrest for cases such as illegal possession of firearms, frustrated murder and murder.

The case of the Paquibato 10 is a study in the Duterte regime and the AFP’s Joint Campaign Plan (JCP) Kapanatagan modus operandi to “drain the pond in order to starve the fish.” In formulaic fascist fashion, the AFP believes that by going after civilians, its troops can deny the New People’s Army its survival base. Similar cases have already been recorded across the region, but have spiked considerably since the establishment of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in late 2018.

Open season

Several months before, the 27th Infantry Battalion based in Paquibato have profiled and sought out hundreds of civilians, including the ten individuals, whom state forces branded as “supporters or sympathizers” of the NPA. Their residences were surveilled and families and relatives were accosted and interrogated in farms, public markets, barangay halls and health centers by AFP and PNP personnel.

In order to “clear their names,” the civilians were told to report and surrender to detachments or to armed AFP troops of the retooled community support program (RCSP) holed up in civilian houses or barangay halls and spread sporadically in villages across Paquibato. Neighbors said that agents from a black-ops group organized by the AFP called Dos-dos paid visit several times to the residences of the red-tagged civilians, especially the ten individuals.

“It was like open season for the fascists to go after all civilians they consider NPA supporters in Paquibato and force them to surrender,” says Dexter, a farmer in Brgy. Colasas, who is a relative of one of the Paquibato 10. “It wasn’t just Paquibato 10. It was really Paquibato 1,000,” he quipped.

When the farmers refused to yield to the pressure and with their families continuing to insist they were civilians, the enemy became desperate. The reactionary courts then started churning out those all-too-familiar warrants of arrest.

Psywar, from start to finish

Amid the raging pandemic, the 27th IB, PNP and Peace 911 were able to swiftly conjure out of thin air a flimsy criminal case, charging the ten civilians with attempted murder over a 9-year old shooting incident involving troops of the 69th IB in Brgy. Mabuhay in July 2012. The 27th IB insisted that the case was lodged by one of the battalions who was previously assigned in Paquibato.

But the purported incident, in fact, had already been claimed by the NPA’s then Pulang Bagani Company and was widely covered by local media in 2012. It was a back-to-back series of tactical offensives by Red fighters against 69th IB and 84th IB’s special operations team in Upper Mabuhay in Paquibato and Brgy. Dominga in Calinan.

Now that state forces have “legally” put targets on their backs and the pressure of the enemy’s years of harassment and intimidation became unbearable, the ten civilians voluntarily gave themselves up on January 12 in order, specifically, to be cleared of the trumped-up charges.

Conveniently lost in the 27th IB and Peace 911’s subsequent PR frenzy, however, was the previous expressed intent of the ten civilians to clear their names over the preposterous charges. They did not volunteer themselves to surrender as NPA supporters. Even so, the AFP spin doctors misrepresented the Paquibato 10’s voluntary submission to police custody as “[abandoning] communist terrorism” and “[cooperating] with the constituted authorities” that “will further weaken the CPP/NPA in the area.”

Rubbing salt in the wound, Peace 911 even declared in false magnanimity that it provided “legal assistance” to the accused, supposedly covering the bail bond for the civilians’ release from police custody. The accused were also denied their right to legal representation of their own choosing and were told to go along with the entire process as instructed by the 27th IB.

Finally, the 27th IB released a statement on January 22 saying that the case against the Paquibato 10 had been dismissed on January 19 for lack of evidence.

The ten civilians were then paraded to the local media for a few quick and rehearsed sound bites. Hundreds of social media pages maintained by paid troll farms of the Eastern Mindanao Command subsequently posted and shared the fluff piece in true bot fashion, with comments and reactions fired off in dizzying haste and similarity.

In a speed which could have only been a point of envy of other more urgent legal matters, the entire affair was over in more or less ten days. Ironically, the AFP claimed that the civilians were “overwhelmed with joy not only for the speedy resolution of the case but more importantly [sic] they were exonerated,” conveniently failing to mention that they were the ones who persecuted the Paquibato 10 to begin with.

“The entire thing was pure psywar from start to finish,” Dexter says. “But they (the Paquibato 10) had no choice. We knew the enemy wouldn’t stop until they surrendered.”

Asked whether any of the Paquibato 10 personally received a court order formally dismissing their case, Dexter says he could not be sure. “They said they signed some documents, but I think those were the surrender papers.”

Like being held hostage

The circus surrounding the Paquibato 10 saga is a glaring example of how treacherous Duterte’s counterinsurgency war has degraded into, especially in attacking the basic rights of civilians. Their case follows a worn-out pattern of red-tagging non-combatant civilians, smoking them out through legal pressure tactics like trumped-up cases or warrants of arrests, and coercing them to go along with the usual storyline of being misrepresented as “NPA surrenderees or sympathizers.”

However, for civilians like the Paquibato 10 who are forced to turn themselves over in order to clear their names of trumped-up charges, surrendering to the enemy does not necessarily mean being legally absolved of any crime. Some cases are merely archived, waiting to be summoned again on the whim of the fascists. “It’s like being held hostage forever,” Dexter gathers.

For Sylvia, who is an official of one of the villages of Paquibato, the AFP’s surrender campaign is nothing but a “money-making scheme by the officials.” She was present during Peace 911’s many pulong-pulong (mass meetings) where AFP officials talked about the Duterte regime’s surrender program Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP), ₱20-million barangay development fund and some livelihood projects.

“But mostly the soldiers talked about encouraging residents to surrender under E-CLIP,” she recalls. “It is no secret here that each surrendered individual means cash reward for the soldiers. It doesn’t matter to them whether that individual is just a former Red fighter who has long ago left the NPA and is now living as a civilian or a mere red-tagged resident of Paquibato.” She says that presently, the AFP are scraping the bottom for anyone whom they can misrepresent as a “surrenderee.”

The bottom line

Sylvia and Dexter both agree that it is the struggle to own land and other peasant interests that is in the bottom of the persecution of the Paquibato 10 and other residents. “It is the reason why the AFP soldiers keep calling us NPA sympathizers,” Dexter says. “They know that the NPA wages war against big landlords and businesses who want Paquibato for themselves so the soldiers lump us all together and call us terrorists. It doesn’t matter to them that we are not armed.”

During those pulong-pulong of the AFP and Peace 911, Sylvia says she is constantly reminded of the previous “sweet promises” of Rodrigo Duterte. Sylvia, whose peasant family has lived in Paquibato for more than four decades now, recalls that during Duterte’s long stint as mayor of Davao City, he had failed in as many times that he promised to give land to the peasants and Lumad of Paquibato.

Duterte’s daughter and current city mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio not only refused to deliver on the same promise but even dashed all hopes for peasants and Lumad to acquire security over the land they currently till. The mayor connived with the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command in June last year to appropriate more than 40 hectares of the Lumad’s ancestral land for a military reservation area.

She also recently enacted Executive Order No. 71, which established a task force supposedly to “guide, regulate and monitor business and other developments” in Paquibato. The order in actuality has given sole discretion to the reactionary local government, meaning the Duterte political dynasty, to enable the entry of mining companies, export-crop plantations and other ventures and slowly ease peasants and Lumad like Sylvia and Dexter’s families out of the land that is their only means of livelihood.

“But the soldiers aren’t really interested in our land problem,” Sylvia sighs, referring back to Peace 911’s many mass meetings. “All they want is for us to surrender and stop struggling for our land and interests.”

The curious case of the Paquibato 10, as with all other similar cases in the region, boils down to just how easy it has become for state forces to criminalize civilians who struggle for their democratic rights, manufacture cases against them, coerce their surrender and line the pockets of AFP and PNP officials with surrender bounty in the process.

The tyrant Duterte has unsheathed the tools for systematic fascism: legislations like the Anti-Terror Law, acquiescent courts that grind out warrants like factories, maniacal red-tagger NTF-ELCAC and its local clones like Peace 911, rabid killing dogs in the AFP and the PNP deputized with impunity, and a network of well-funded troll farms that manipulate public opinion in traditional and social media.

In the grand, dirty court of the fascist regime’s counterinsurgency war, the enemy is never above playing the role of judge, jury and executioner.

Kalinaw News: Army’s 91st IB conduct information awareness on CTGs infiltration to youth sector

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 12, 2022): Army’s 91st IB conduct information awareness on CTGs infiltration to youth sector

BALER, Aurora-The Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion under the leadership of Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, warns the students of Lyceum of the East-Aurora (LEA) not be swayed by false ideologists of leftist organizations, many of which have links to the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) through invitations to join their groups.

During a gathering of 58 students at Barangay Florida in the town of Maria Aurora, this province Saturday (March 12, 2022), Rubio sent Civil-Military Operations Officer Captain Candidato Paduman in the conduct of lectures on CTGs to Youth/Student Sector and film viewing to limited face-to-face class of the students of LEA.

Paduman said that the youth, given their innocence are very vulnerable to false ideologies and some groups are disguising of development and reform, but their real agenda is power grab thus, the youth must be educated enough to avoid being recruited by these groups of the CTGs.

“Our youth must not be swayed by the propaganda of the terrorists that only tell lies and deceptions. In some schools, there are a lot of cases of recruitment, and this usually occurs to their easy targets to manipulate, the youth,” Paduman said.

He furthered that the CPP-NPA-NDF usually take advantage of youth, particularly those residing in depressed and isolated areas due to their innocence.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, commander of 91st IB lauded the efforts of the LEA administration under the leadership of its chief executive officer, Engineer Jaime S. Gose for inviting the 91st IB in the said seminar awareness and to disseminate correct information about the sincerity of government in promoting sustainable peace and development especially in the geographically isolated areas.

The commander of 91st IB said that the continuous conduct of information drives and dialogue to the youth and different sectors are vital part in the implementation of provincial task force to end local communist armed conflict (PTF ELCAC).

“This is a good venue of educating our youth and made them aware on the lies and deception of the Communist Terrorist Group. We will intensify this activity as part of the situational awareness program and counter the propaganda efforts of the CTGs,” Rubio said.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City Contact us:]

Kalinaw News: 38 Individuals Benefit from a Livelihood Project in Pangasinan

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 12, 2022): 38 Individuals Benefit from a Livelihood Project in Pangasinan

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – The Commander of the 7th Infantry (KAUGNAY) Division, Philippine Army Major General Andrew D Costelo PA, said that an Army initiated livelihood project has benefited 38 individuals following their first harvest of mushrooms in Barangay Lawak Langka, Mangatarem, Pangasinan last March 05, 2022.

Said Mushroom Production Project was led by the Community Support Program (CSP) team of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Armor Division, Philippine Army in partnership with the Barangay Task Force ELCAC.

“This livelihood project aims to give an alternative source of livelihood and increase their daily income. Your Army is committed to support this kind of initiative as part of our sustainment efforts in formerly Communist-infiltrated communities,” said MGen Costelo.

Ruth G. Rabanillo, a resident of Brgy. Lawak-Langka, on the other hand, expressed her gratitude for the livelihood opportunity they received from the Army.

“Laking pasalamat namin sa tulong ng mga kasundaluhan sapagkat nakikita namin ang bunga ng aming nasimulang proyekto. Ito’y magsisilbing simula para sa amin upang matustusan ang aming mga pangangailangan,” said Ms. Rabanillo.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Henry Z Cabusao, the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, commended the efforts of the BTF-ELCAC of Lawak-Langka for supporting the livelihood project of the CSP team intended for the constituents of said barangay.

“Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa pamunuan ng BTF-ELCAC Lawak-Langka sa kanilang suporta sa proyekto upang madagdagan ang pagkakakitaan ng mga residente sa kanilang barangay. Ang ganitong proyekto ay isa lamang sa mga ginagawa ng pamahalaan upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga mamamayan, kaya huwag nating hayaang sirain ng mga terorista ang inyong magandang nasimulan,” said LTC Cabusao.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City Contact us:]

Kalinaw News: Catanduanes Clash; 1 CTG dead and left by comrades

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 12, 2022): Catanduanes Clash; 1 CTG dead and left by comrades

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES Pili, Camarines Sur – A member of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) was confirmed killed while several war materiel was captured after around 45 minutes firefight with the government troops that subsequently resulted in the seizure of Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) hideout in Catanduanes, 9:30 in the morning, Thursday, March 10.

Elements of 83rd Infantry Battalion together with the members of Police Mobile Force Company, PRO5 clashed with more or less 10 communist armed rebels while conducting security operation in response to an information from concerned civilians about the presence of CNT at the vicinity of Sitio Kuripdas, Barangay JMA Alberto, San Miguel, Catanduanes.

The skirmish resulted in the death of a CNT member, captured of one M14 rifle, 17 anti-personnel mines, assorted terrorist propaganda materials, CNT personal belongings and the seizure of enemy’s hideout.

Lt. Col. Clark Dalumbar, Commander of 83rd Infantry Batallion (83IB) immediately directed the troops to continue the intensified military operations in the area.

Col Edmundo Peralta, Commander of 902nd Infantry Brigade, called on to the other fleeing CTG members to surrender and return to the fold of the law.

” Hindi kami titigil na manawagan sa mga natitira pang miyembro ng CTG na sumuko na lamang.Marami nang kasamahan niyo ang nagbuwis na ng buhay nang dahil sa maling paniniwala.
Ang mga komunidad ay isinusuka na kayo. Ang pamilya ninyo ay nangangamba na sa inyong kalagayan.” Col. Peralta added.

Meanwhile, PBGen Jonnel C Estomo, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5) lauded the success of the combat operation brought by the interoperalibity of the Army and Police and the cooperation of concerned locals in the area.

“Ang isinusulong na operasyong pangkapayapaan na ito ng pinagsamang Police, Army at ang patuloy na pakikipagtulungan ng mga mamayan ay isang malakas na armas upang tuluyan nang matuldukan ang problema natin sa insurhensiya” PBGen Estomo said.

On the other hand, MGen. Alex Luna, Commander of 9th Infantry (Spear) Division and JTF Bicolandia, reiterated that the Government is not stopping in its campaign to end the local armed conflict in the Region and that doors of JTF Bicolandia are always open for those who will choose the peaceful path.

“Taliwas sa pangako ng mga kasamahan nila ang nangyayari sa loob ng kilusan, matapos nilang lasunin ang isipan ng mga inosente ay iiwan lamang nila ito upang mamatay.
Kaya’t ikinalulungkot po namin na may nasawi na naman sa engkwentro na kapwa nating Pilipino na biktima lamang ng pekeng pangako at panlilinlang. Subalit ang ating mga kasundaluhan at kapulisan ay ginagawa lamang ang kanilang mandato na protektahan ang mga komunidad at ang ating demokrasya.” MGen Luna said.

MGen Luna also emphasized that the whole Joint Task Force Bicolandia will continue its fortified resolution in giving security to the Bicolanos and its pursuit of lasting peace in the Region.

“Kami po ay hindi titigil hanggat hindi pa tuluyang nauubos ang mga miyembro ng armadong grupo, mas lalo po naming pag-iigtingin ang kampanya laban sa insurhensiya lalo pa’t nasa amin ang suporta ng bayan.” MGen Luna added.

It can be recalled that a successful military operation transpired in the province of Sorsogon last January 21, 2022 at the vicinity of Brgy Sta. Lourdes in Barcelona that resulted to one (1) CTG member killed and the capture of four (4) rifles and several enemy materials.

These successful operations are attributed through the cooperation between the locals and the Government, it is a manifestation that the community are already enlightened about the false ideologies of the CTG and their strong opposition against the existence of the group.
It is also a clear indication that the influence of the communist insurgency in the region is soon to fall on its knees.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City Contact us:]

Autopsy on Chad Booc raises doubts on encounter in Davao de Oro

From the periodically pro-CPP/NPA online publication the Davao Today

 (Mar 12, 2022): Autopsy on Chad Booc raises doubts on encounter in Davao de Oro

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Lumad school volunteer teacher Chad Booc sustained very serious injuries from multiple gunshot wounds which shows intent to kill, a preliminary autopsy report said, casting doubts on the military’s claim that Booc and four others engaged them in an encounter in Davao de Oro last February 23.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun made this report as requested by Booc’s parents, and presented this in an online press conference on March 7 in Mandaue, Cebu.

Fortun explained that the case is complex due to the numerous gunshot wounds found in the chest and abdomen of Booc, and even recovered one bullet from his chest. She added that the wounds are so near to each other making it difficult to determine the trajectory of each bullet.

Fortun said that Booc had internal hemorrhages in the chest and abdomen cavities and extensive lacerations in the lungs, diaphragm, liver, spleen, stomach, intestines, right kidney and right adrenal gland.

She cited that he also had fatal injuries like fractured ribs, thoracic vertebrae and a transected spinal cord.

The forensic autopsy, Fortun said, tries to reconstruct how Booc, fellow teacher Gelejurain Ngojo II, community health worker Elgyn Balonga and two motorcycle drivers Tirso Añar and Robert Aragon were killed in New Bataan.

But Fortun said there are limitations in her findings to determine if an encounter took place.

“One big limitation that I have (in performing the autopsy) is that part of the embalming involved the repair of the injuries. The embalmer sutured the holes that would determine the possible entry and exit of bullets,” she said.

“More information please. He was only one of five killed in an incident. All of them should undergo an investigation including a forensic autopsy,” Fortun added.

The Eastern Mindanao Command claimed that the “New Bataan 5” were killed following a series of armed clashes with the troops of 10th Infantry Division’s 1001st Brigade at Purok-8, Barangay Andap, New Bataan, Davao de Oro on February 24, 2022.

However, the Save Our Schools (SOS) Network decry the military’s claim of an encounter as manifested in the initial observations of Jurain and Elegyn’s families on their bodies bearing multiple gunshot wounds and bruises.

Jurain’s body sustained several gunshot wounds, and a part of the skin on his stomach and right thigh had been peeled off.

Balonga’s left leg had been cut off a few inches below the knee while her right foot was cut off near the ankle. The dismembered limbs were wrapped and re-attached using packaging tape.

Blood clots had also formed on her fingertips. Based on the visible marks on her body, she was also shot on her right knee and below the right elbow. Her jaw was also visibly torn off and her nose bridge was bruised.

Save Our Schools Network Spokesperson Meg Lim pointed out there are gaps in time when Balonga was able to send her last message on February 23 arranging their trip back to Davao City from a community survey, the supposed encounter on February 24 and the press release from the Eastmincom on February 25.

Lim called for the Commission on Human Rights and other independent bodies locally, nationally and internationally to conduct a swift, impartial and thorough investigation of the New Bataan 5 massacre.

SOS lawyer Attorney Antonio La Viña also added that an independent government body should take the lead, as the place of the incident is heavily militarized and civilian investigators may risk their lives.

Booc was buried last March 5 in his hometown Cebu. He was given a tribute by SOS volunteers in Davao on March 3 which was attended by his father Napoleon.

Booc was a volunteer teacher for Alcadev in Surigao del Sur since 2016 after graduating cum laude in computer science in the University of the Philippines Diliman.

He was one of the vocal advocates for the Lumad schools using his social media accounts to raise issues on the militarization and red-tagging of Lumad schools and communities.

Last February 2021, Booc was among those arrested in Cebu City on alleged kidnapping charges on Lumad students, but the case was dismissed.

178 lumad schools were closed down by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict due to allegations of being recruitment schools for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, as reported by the SOS Network.

Anti-insurgency program benefits 3 Iloilo barangays

Posted to Panay News (Mar 12, 2022): Anti-insurgency program benefits 3 Iloilo barangays

Three villages in the municipality of Miag-ao are recipients of P20-million worth of projects each under the Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Peace can be achieved if the government is brought closer to the people, stressed Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Iloilo director Teodora Sumagaysay during the groundbreaking for a farm-to-market road (FMR) in Barangay San Jose and turnover of non-infrastructure projects at the Justice Ramon B. Britanico Hall in Miag-ao’s poblacion on March 11.

“The P20-million fund allocation answered a lot of concerns faced by the barangays as identified in their development plans, may these be infrastructure or non-infrastructure,”
said Sumagaysay.

Barangays San Jose, Banbanan and Wayang in Miag-ao were recipients of a total of six non-infrastructure and eight infrastructure projects.

In addition to the FMR, San Jose was also a recipient of a hauling vehicle (mini-truck) while its rice processing complex with drier and rice mill is yet to be constructed.

Barangay Banbanan identified for its projects a rice thresher and other farm equipment, acquisition of electric sewing machines with livelihood facility and amenities, and construction of post-harvest facility composed of rice drier and rice mill with amenities.

Barangay Wayang will have a post-harvest facility composed of a rice drier and rice mill. A tractor and other pre-harvest equipment and facility would also be purchased.

Sumagaysay urged the recipients to continue spreading the message that the government takes care of its people by providing them with projects.

“Sometimes we are very busy but we need to stop and smell the roses and feel that our government really cares for us,” she added.

Provincial Administrator Dennis Ventilacion, who represented Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr., said the province had the biggest allocation of the LGSF-SBDP in the whole country.

The province for 2021 had 165 projects composed of 96 infrastructures and 69 non-infrastructures with an allocation ofP720 million.

Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Harold Garcia said the projects were considered a “breakthrough” because they brought Miag-ao a “step closer in solving a long-standing problem, which is insurgency”.

He said that for at least two months their troops led the conduct of community support programs (CSP) in the recipient-barangays that paved the way for the implementation of the SBDP.

CSP is the tool of the Army that aims to bring peace and development in conflict-affected barangays and an initiative to bring the government closer to the people through an immediate delivery of basic services, especially to grassroots communities.

“With the two months that we stayed we are summing up to validate and confirm that these barangays are indeed cleared from insurgency,”
he said.

The groundbreaking ceremony and turnover of non-infrastructure projects were joined by DILG Regional Director Juan Jovian Ingeniero, Engr. Romeo Andig of the Provincial Engineer’s Office, Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) Director Col. Adrian Acollador, Mayor Macario Napulan, and officials of recipient barangays. (PNA)

Families claim bodies of 2 NPA rebels in NegOcc

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 12, 2022): Families claim bodies of 2 NPA rebels in NegOcc (By Nanette Guadalquiver) 

REBEL’S REMAINS. Troops of the Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion and personnel of the Isabela Municipal Police Station in Negros Occidental turn over the remains of CPP-NPA leader and notorious hitman Virgilio “Kumander Bedam” Tamban to his family at the Leo Memorial Chapels on March 10, 2022. Tamban and his comrade Ben Jack “Ka Yuhan” Rueles were killed in a clash with soldiers in Barangay Amin, Isabela town early morning of March 9. (Photo courtesy of 62nd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

The bodies of the two Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels, killed during a clash with soldiers in Isabela, Negros Occidental on March 9, were already claimed by their respective families, the Philippine Army said on Saturday.

In a report, the 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) said their troops, together with personnel of Isabela Municipal Police Station, turned over the remains at the Leo Memorial Chapels on March 10.

The fatalities were identified as Virgilio “Kumander Bedam” Tamban, commanding officer of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda Platoon Lenovo of the NPA’s Leonardo Panaligan Command, who has been tagged by the military as a “notorious hitman”; and Ben Jack “Ka Yuhan” Rueles, a member of the Regional Striking Force of Komiteng Rehiyon Negros, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor.

Both are residents of Sitio Casingan, Barangay Trinidad in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

The turn-over was facilitated by the Local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict of Guihulngan City and Municipality of Isabela.

In an earlier statement, Lt. Col. William Pesase Jr., acting commanding officer of 62IB, said justice has been served to the civilians killed by Tamban’s group.

“I commend the bravery of the concerned residents in divulging reliable information to finally stop the killings initiated by the NPA in central Negros,” he added.

Tamban and his comrades were the primary suspects in the murder of five persons in central Negros from February 16 to March 2 this year.

Last Wednesday, troops of 62IB responded to a report that about 10 CPP-NPA members had planned to execute a civilian they suspected to be a government informant, leading to a clash with the rebels which led to the deaths of Tamban and Rueles.

Hours after the encounter, residents of Barangay Amin led by village chief Noel Magquilat took an oath of allegiance to the Philippine government during the local peace engagement and insurgency awareness symposium conducted by the 62IB.

Magquilat assured the troops their village will continue to support peace and development efforts and the implementation of government programs.

Maj. Alenel Valles, executive officer of 62IB, said the successful operation against the CPP-NPA rebels was made possible because of the courage and cooperation of the locals.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.

OPAPRU turns over housing units in Aklan under peace accord

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 12, 2022): OPAPRU turns over housing units in Aklan under peace accord (By Lade Jean Kabagani)

PEACE COMMUNITY. Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (6th from left), poses with a Kapatiran member family during the ceremonial turnover of housing units in Ibajay, Aklan on Thursday (March 10, 2022). The housing units are part of the government’s commitment to help former communist terrorist group members rebuild their lives. (Photo courtesy of OPAPRU)

Former affiliate members of communist terrorist groups (CTGs) will start their new lives with a housing project provided by the national government.

Sixteen single-detached core shelters
were given to the beneficiaries of Rebolusyonaryong Partido Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA/ABB-TPG), now recognized as Kapatiran, in a ceremonial turnover in Ibajay, Aklan on Thursday.

On top of the housing projects, an Emergency Food Reserve and a Cocomill facility will be set up.

In a social media post on Saturday, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the housing project is a result of “sincere” efforts of the government and the Kapatiran to push for a long-lasting peace process through the 2000 peace agreement.

In 2019, both parties signed a Clarificatory Implementing Document, the final and absolute settlement of the peace deal which ended years of armed conflict between the government and the former revolutionary organization.

“Nais din namin na ang mga tahanang ito ay magsilbing simbolo at inspirasyon sa mga benepisyaryo sa pagsisimula ng bagong kabanata sa inyong buhay (We want these houses to become a symbol that will inspire beneficiaries to start the new chapters of their lives),” Galvez said.

The then Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Department of National Defense, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2017, subsequently amended in 2019, for the provision of 52 core shelters to Peace and Development Communities in Ibajay, Aklan; Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, and the tri-boundary site between the towns of Amlan, Sibulan, and Tanjay City in Negros Oriental.

Galvez also cited the government’s obligations to the former members of Cordillera Bodong Administration-Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA) who returned to the fold of the law following the implementation of Mt. Data Peace Accord or “Sipat” agreement with the national government on Sept. 13, 1986.

This deal was strengthened through the signing of the 2011 Memorandum of Agreement for the disposition of firearms and forces of the CPLA and the provision of socio-economic services for groups and communities in the Cordillera.

Ibajay Mayor Jose Enrique Miraflores noted that Kapatiran's strong commitment to push for a long-lasting and genuine peace process enabled Aklan to fully develop its tourism industry.

“It was through the efforts of the Kapatiran wherein the highway became a passable highway for tourists,” Miraflores said in a statement. “I always say this, without the Kapatiran's commitment, we would not have reached the tourism development of the province of Aklan, and we would not have made Boracay as a prime tourist destination of the country of the world.”

Former MILF combatants, relatives finish livelihood training

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 12, 2022): Former MILF combatants, relatives finish livelihood training (By Lade Jean Kabagani)

LIVELIHOOD TRAINING. The 331 decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and their relatives are awarded training certificates after completing livelihood courses in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Thursday (March 10, 2022). The livelihood training is part of the socio-economic development program under the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. (Photo courtesy of OPAPRU)

Decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have completed a skills development training through the government’s whole-of-nation livelihood interventions.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), in a social media post on Saturday, said the 331 beneficiaries included the combatants’ wives, children, and grandchildren.

At Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, beneficiary graduates were awarded training certificates on Dressmaking NC II, Bread and Pastry Production NC II and Bread Making, Organic Concoctions, and Extracts Production, after completion of livelihood courses offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), through its Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program.

The livelihood training was jointly facilitated by the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education under its Technical Education and Skills Development arm, in partnership with accredited training institutions such as the Ebrahim Institute of Technology, Inc., Foureych Institute of Technology and Learning Center, Inc., Sajahatra Services Cooperative, and Farasan Institute of Technology, Inc.

OPAPRU said the livelihood courses are part of the socio-economic development program under the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the peace agreement forged between the government and MILF in 2014.

Lawyer Laisa Alamia, chair of the Government of the Philippines Task Force for Decommissioned Combatants and their Communities (TFDCC), said the TVET training program will provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the former combatants as they shift to become productive civilians.

“Para magkaroon sila ng mas maraming oportunidad tulad ng pagkakaroon ng maliit na negosyo o di kaya ng mas magandang trabaho (For them to have more opportunities to start up a small business or to have a better job),” Alamia said in a statement.

Sanabila Sabil, a representative of the TFDCC Secretariat, said the livelihood trainings will be the stepping stones in their journey away from the armed struggle.

OPAPRU said more decommissioned MILF combatants from other areas in Maguindanao, as well as from the provinces of Lanao, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, have also started their training.